Leading South African diver and conservationist Peter Timm, who discovered the South African population of the coelacanth in 2000, died 18 June 2014 along with his dive partner, Adele Steegen, in an accident while trying to recover lost scientific equipment in 58m of water. Both divers had done important work in filming and protecting coelacanths in the years since Timm's discovery.
The coelacanth was an enormous scientific find in 1938 and, in essence, the founding fish of cryptozoology, since it's been used ever since as an example of an animal of significant size that dropped out of the fossil record 60M years ago and reappeared in the modern era. (There are two claims now of post-Mesozoic coelacanth fossils.) The coelacanth has actually been cited too much, in my opinion, by cryptozoologists - as important and startling as it was, no other large fish has been discovered after such a long absence. Nor has any other type of marine or terrestrial vertebrate. Still, the Javan and South African populations of the coelacanth (the Javan being classed as a separate species) both rank as very important discoveries and welcome news to conservationists who feared the modern coelacanth was confined to one population.
Farewell, Mr. Timms and Ms. Steegen. You did your part for the future of planet Earth.